One thing is for sure, the GoPro HERO Action Camera is the most popular of its kind on the market today. GoPro is also the fastest growing action camera company. That said, let’s take a look at what GoPro has to offer their customers, the differences between the versions available now and what you’ll get from each. The video below will give you a visual idea of what you will get from these 4 cameras in terms of performance from image, action and low light. Below you can also find a Link to Download Original Uncompressed ProTune 4K Cin Footage to pull into post and edit to your linking. *The footage must be run through CineForm first. If you’d like to see the original uncompressed video footage from the clip below, you can find that on VIMEO by CLICKING HERE.
GoPro HERO 2, HERO 3 Black, Silver and White, all shot at 1080p, 30fps at Wide.
First lets address the basics: Size, Image Sharpness and Performance.
The HERO 3 editions are all smaller, lighter and overall sport a new design compared to the GoPro HERO 2. Both the 2 and the 3 have LCD BacPac options, however, only the HERO 3 has the touch LCD screen with an improved resolution from the HERO 2 version. The HERO 2, however has the 3.5mm mini jack input, where the HERO 3 only has the ability to accept headsets for monitoring and playback. A mini USB adapter is available on the GoPro website that will allow you to adapt a 3.5mm mini jack Microphone to your GoPro HERO 3 via the mini USB input.
For those of you who would like to see a longer and more detailed video comparison of the HERO 2, HERO 3 Black, Silver and White, below is a video showing differing lighting, contrast and perspective from all 4 cameras shot at 1080p, 30fps at Wide.
Below you can find a video that was shot in ProTune 4K Cin on the GoPro HERO 3 Black Edition. If you’d like to DOWNLOAD the original file from Vimeo and mess around with it in post, you can do that via the VIMEO LINK HERE. *The footage must be run through CineForm first. (The YouTube version of this video had less of a latency in audio so I’ve embedded it here, the Vimeo video has a longer lag time between audio and video. Nothing was touched in post. **The GoPro HERO 3 Black shoots 4K Cin in ProTune mode only at 15fps).
Protune format and CineForm
CineForm Studio is a free app that you can download to help prep your GoPro videos before editing them on more robust programs like Premiere or FCP. Color correction, 3D editing and slow motion converting of GoPro videos, for example, can all be prepped using CineForm.
Protune increases the data-rate (or decreases the compression) from an average of around 15Mb per second to 35 to 45+ Mbps per second. Small artifacts that sometime occur in highly detailed environments or extreme motion are gone near 35Mbps. The addition of 24p frame rate aids in combining the GoPro footage with other 24p professional cameras and DSLRs. The images captured with Protune are designed to make color grading easier in post production. The image is captured with a flatter look. This makes color enhancement more flexible in post. Also, Log curve encoding offers more detail in shadows and highlights – again, think post production editing of your footage. This feature gives you more information to work with.
Why use the FREE CineForm App?
35 to 45Mbps H.264 H264 is harder to decode than 15Mbps. The GoPro CineForm Studio software is a faster editing format for transcoding and is offered for customers for free to help prep the GoPro video files before editing in a more full bodied editing program. Also, the new Protune GoPro clips carry metadata that CineForm Studio detects and automatically develops. Any changes are stored as CineForm Activate Metadata, are non-destructive, reversible and all controlled within CineForm.
GoPro FREE App
Use your smartphone or tablet as a live video remote. The GoPro App includes video and photo preview. Requires HD HERO2 camera and Wi-Fi BacPac™ (not included) or HERO 3 camera with a product software update.
The HERO 3 cameras all come with the new dive flat lens housing. This means that underwater, your images will be sharper when compared to the curved lens housing of the HERO 2. The image sensor on the HERO 3 is also larger which equates to a better low light performance on the HERO 3. All of the GoPro HERO 3 cameras come with built-in Wi-Fi, only accept Micro SD cards and sport improved audio from the HERO 2.
GoPro HERO 2 and HERO 3 All Editions
HERO 2 – 11MP camera w/10 Frame Per Second photo burst mode. / Wide, Medium, Narrow / Protune capable
HERO 3 WHITE – 5MP camera w/3 Frames Per Second photo burst mode. / Ultra Wide and Medium video mode only / NO ProTune Mode
HERO 3 SILVER – 11MP camera w/10 Frames Per Second photo burst mode. / 120 FPS Ulta Wide, Medium and Narrow / Protune capable / Manual White Balance
HERO 3 BLACK – 12MP camera w/30 Frames Per Second photo burst mode. / Ultra Wide, Wide, Medium, Narrow /4K, 2.7K both in Cin modes/ 120 Frames Per Second (slow motion) at up to 720p/ Photo and Video mode capable at the same time/ Manual White Balance
Below are still images from the HERO 2, HERO 3 White, Silver and Black in that order.